MUMBAI: Batting great Sachin Tendulkar on Tuesday advocated the need for improvement in relations between traditional rivals India and Pakistan, reiterating that cricket could play a role in normalising ties.
Sachin said if the governments of both the countries felt a bilateral series was the “ideal way” to move forward then it should materialise.
“These are issues which the two countries’ government needs to decide,” Sachin told Indian news agency when asked about the hurdles in the way of a proposed bilateral series in the UAE in December.
“Also I think that the relations [between India and Pakistan] need to improve. If the governments feel that this [cricket] is the ideal way to move forward and the boards feel so, I do not see any reason why we should not play.
“But if they [governments] feel it is inappropriate then we have to abide by them,” he added.
Sachin is currently in the United States of America with Australian leggie Shane Warne for the inaugural Cricket All Stars 2015 a three-city T20 competitions comprising retired players of the game.
In a letter to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) clarified that it would seek government permission on whether December’s scheduled series between the two countries can proceed as planned.
Members of the radical Hindu nationalist party Shiv Sena, opposed to relationships with Pakistan, stormed the BCCI office in Mumbai last week, forcing the cancellation of a meeting between the two board chiefs.
“Mr Manohar has expressed his sincere regrets for the cancellation of the meeting,” the PCB said in a statement.
“Under pressure from extremist elements, BCCI canceled its meeting.”
Last year, the two countries signed an agreement to play six series in between 2015 and 2023, with Pakistan as nominal hosts four times.
“It has also been conveyed (to the PCB) that the BCCI has officially approached the Indian government to obtain definitive guidance on the Pakistan-India series,” the PCB said.